Holidays can be a difficult time for expatriates, especially when you know you’re family are tucking in to a turkey with all the trimmings while you are faced with xxx. However, you can make Thanksgiving work for you, providing you make the right amount of effort and are prepared to make the most you possibly can out of the day.
Here are five top tips for celebrating this all-American holiday, no matter where you may be.
1) Hold a Thanksgiving party
If you can’t go to Thanksgiving, make Thanksgiving come to you. Organize your very own Turkey Day and invite as many people as you can possibly accommodate. At the heart of Thanksgiving in the United States is friends and family and everyone appreciates the chance to get together with as many people as they can.
2) Get everyone to contribute
Cooking and enjoying great food is what makes Thanksgiving such an enjoyable time. It’s also a great time to share, so why not ask each of your guests to bring their own dish to contribute to the feast. You could either prepare a list of all the things you need and ask each expat friend to select the one they would like to bring, or you could ask your friends to let you know which dish they would like to contribute. Just make sure you don’t end up with 13 turkeys!
3) Invite some of your local friends
Why not share your traditions and customs with some of your local friends. By inviting them to share your day you can create stronger relationships and have some fun along the way. Don’t forget to explain the meaning behind the Thanksgiving tradition and how it is typically celebrated in America.
4) Plan some great entertainment
Why not play some great Thanksgiving movies such as The New World; Planes, Trains and Automobiles; or even ACharlie Brown Thanksgiving. If you can, screen the Thanksgiving football, or even the Macy’s parade. Whatever you decided to do, get out the popcorn and snacks and share the fun with your friends.
5) Schedule a call home
If your entire family are getting together and you feel like you are missing out, why not schedule a Skype or FaceTime call home. This will enable you to see everyone’s faces and maybe even join in the fun for a while.
Special times of year can make it very difficult when you live overseas and you may feel isolated and lonely. If you really can’t make the trip back home for the holidays, try not to dwell on what you’re missing out on. Get out there and start creating some new traditions all of your own.